Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

2017 MCAS
Grade 10 English Language Arts Composition
Topic/Idea Development - Score Point 6

The composition is richly developed and carefully organized. The writer begins with a global statement that introduces the central idea of the essay: "The human mind is one of fragility and insecurities." The writer expands upon this point in the opening paragraph by stating that "the people that we trust, can be the wrong ones" and, as depicted in Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, "[w]e may get tricked and dec[ei]ved and change ourselves as we unknowingly succumb to the merciless natural evils that surround us." The "treacherous trickster" in the play is described as "one evil entity" that is embodied in three witches who deceive Macbeth and cause his ultimate downfall. Macbeth's fall is inevitable. The once "honorable and courageous" character is incapable of recognizing the destructive power of deceit: his qualities of reason and decency are overpowered by "curiosity and greed," and eventually he descends into delusion and murderous rage. "The witches twist and manipulate their prophecies" to maintain control over Macbeth, making him "seem invincible when in fact, they really just foreshadow his downfall." Macbeth's transformation to pure evil is clear, especially as he orders the assassination of friends and allies. The conclusion adds to the analysis by circling back to the larger theme of deception by suggesting that "[t]he ignorant dec[ei]ved, with enough pressure, will eventually become the obvious dec[ei]ver." Details are well-chosen, and ideas are richly developed, forming a sophisticated analysis of the psychological effects of such manipulative deceit. The writer's insight and analysis is supported by rich use of language as can be seen in the use of such techniques as alliteration and metaphor (e.g., "promiscuous prophets" and "blood river leading to his life of damnation").
Answer for Score Point 6, page 1 of 4Answer for Score Point 6, page 2 of 4Answer for Score Point 6, page 3 of 4Answer for Score Point 6, page 4 of 4



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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education